Press Centre

UK average household is £7 a week worse off

ASDA ’s income tracker offers a clear, up to date and accurate measure of how much money the average UK household has to spend on recreation and entertainment.

ASDA’s monthly income tracker report for February reveals: Even though average earnings before tax went up £17 a week over the last year, the average family was £7 a week worse off. This is because tax and essentials like food, housing and transport cost £24 a week more.

  • The average UK household family has 5.2% less disposable income to spend on leisure and entertainment (£133) in February 2008 than (£140) in February 2007
  • Cost of living (spending on essentials) has risen 5.2%
  • Gross income growth has begun to fall – increased only by 2.6%
  • Net income (income after compulsory tax and national insurance contributions) increased just 2.3%
  • Transport costs are up 6.2%, including 20.3% rise in petrol
  • Food and non alcoholic drink are up 5.6%
  • Clothes prices are down 4.6%
  • The cost of housing fuel and power increased by 3.5% over the 12 months to February 2008.

The ASDA income tracker is a barometer for the economic welfare of ‘middle Britain’, taking into account income, tax and all basic expenditure items. ASDA has commissioned this research to obtain a greater understanding of its customers’ finances and the key costs they face on a monthly basis.

No other supermarket has a customer base that matches the demographics of the UK so closely, which is why this research looks at average incomes as an indicator of how ASDA customers are faring. The income tracker, which is compiled by the centre for economics and business research, reveals that the average household in the UK has 5.2% less to spend compared to a year ago (Feb 07 vs Feb 08).

The cost of living has increased 5.2% piling further pressure on household budgets. Andy Bond, Asda CEO, says: “In light of February’s data our priority must be to keep inflation at bay. The challenge for us and our suppliers is to ensure that we don’t pass on unnecessary cost increases to customers.”

Posted in Press Centre on 27 March 2008